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Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2003, Official Report, column 127W, on Iraq, if she will press the European Commission to include goods from Iraq in the Generalised System of Preferences as soon as possible. [129780]

The UK has made representation to the European Commission on Iraq's eligibility under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), conveying the UK Government's wish to re-instate GSP in Iraq as soon as possible.A key requirement for GSP to be re-instated in Iraq is for administrative co-operation to be restored in the country. The situation with respect to authorities in Iraq continues to be unclear. The UK Government will continue its dialogue with the commission to move this matter forward.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many contracts have been secured by British companies in connection with the reconstruction of Iraq; and what their approximate value is. [128945]

[holding answer 11 September 2003]: According to the latest information we have from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq, British companies have so far secured 18 per cent, of sub contracts awarded by Bechtel, worth approximately £10 million. UK companies have also secured contracts from other organisations funding reconstruction projects in Iraq but we do not have details of the value of these contracts.